7 Ways to Make Your Hair Look Thicker

Medically Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on December 14, 2021
3 min read

If your days of thick, full hair are behind you, fear not. You have other options beyond shaving your head, sporting a comb-over, and collecting baseball caps.

A bunch of styling approaches can help you look and feel great. Try these tips to make the most of the hair you have.

  1. Choose the right shampoo and conditioner. Go for “volumizing” or “thickening” products. These are made to work without weighing down your hair, so you can get a fuller look. For added insurance against limp locks, apply conditioner mainly to the ends rather than your scalp.
  2. Style smart. Again, look for mousses and gels geared toward building volume. To give the most oomph to thin strands, blow-dry your hair until it’s only a little damp, then apply a styler at the roots. This also keeps hair from sticking to your scalp, which makes thinness more obvious.
  3. Find a great barber or stylist. Exactly how this pro works their mane magic depends on your hair type, texture, personal preference, and pattern of hair loss. They might blunt the ends of your hair to make them look thicker, for example, or leave your hair longer in some areas to help disguise trouble spots. But the bottom line is that the right haircut can make a big difference for you.
  4. Switch your part. If you’ve always worn your hair parted on the left, try shifting it to the right or center. After years of lying in the same direction, a switch will help lift your hair away from your scalp.
  5. Consider coloring. Not only do the dyes on your strands help thicken them, but the right shade can make the contrast between your hair and scalp less obvious, which draws attention away from thinning. Talk to a pro to be sure you use the right shade. If you prefer to do the job yourself, ask your regular stylist for tips on how to get the same results with at-home color. It’s key to have a plan for upkeep, since hair color can make hair loss stand out if your roots are too noticeable. Not keen on all-over color? This might be the time to try highlights, which need less upkeep.
  6. Fill up with fiber. If you have mild to moderate hair loss, fiber hair cosmetics can be a quick fix for adding volume. These products use statically charged fibers that you sprinkle over your hair to make it look thicker. Most of them come in a few different shades to match your color and will stay on until you shampoo them out.
  7. Add on. Hair weaves, extensions, pieces, wigs, and toupees will give you the appearance of a fuller head of hair. And many look better and fit more securely than the ones you might have seen in the past. These devices are made of human hair, synthetic fiber, or a mix of both. You anchor them to either your existing hair or your skin.

Finally, treat the locks you do have with care. That means no vigorous towel-drying or blow-drying with high heat. Wet hair is more fragile than dry hair, and high heat can fry your strands and make them break off. It’s best to let it dry a little before you use a wide-tooth comb on it.